We all know that the unexamined life is not worth living (according to Socrates), but Momoko Abe takes this one step further, extending examination to the lives of produce—with humorous results.
Avocado was feeling just fine in the fruit and vegetable aisle of the supermarket.
Life was pretty simple. No doubts.
No questions. No confusion…
until one day a small customer pointed and asked…
“Is an AVOCADO a fruit or a vegetable?“
“Hmm, I’m not sure, sweetie.
When we get home, we’ll look it up.”
Suddenly Avocado’s world turned upside down.
Avocado didn’t know the answer either.
Oh, how an innocent question can throw one’s world into turmoil!
Avocado wonders, WHAT AM I??
And heads out into the supermarket on a quest to discover its identity.
This book is filled with wry (and occasionally laugh-out-loud humor) and a perfect ending.
The reader never does find out whether an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable—after all, that’s what the Internet is for—but it doesn’t matter. Because, all joking aside, the point is really to feel comfortable in your own skin and confident in your own awesomeness, no matter how others may “classify” you.
Abe’s illustrations personifying produce and other foods, entertaining puns, and perfectly timed page turns make this a lively read aloud.
Smash up some guacamole using this recipe. What foods do you like to add avocado to? What main or side dishes do you like that contain tomatoes? What main or side dishes contain both?
Take the challenge on the last page of the book, and find out how other foods like nuts, mushrooms, jalapeños, dandelion leaves, and rhubarb are classified.
Learn the scientific difference between fruits and vegetables in this video.
Title: Avocado Asks
Author/Illustrator: Momoko Abe
Publisher: DoubleDay Books for Young Readers, 2021
Ages: Pre-K – 5th grade
Themes: Identity, self-confidence, STEM
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.